Assessed values continue to rise

New-home construction continues to boost assessed property values in Mohave County.

Assessed valuation in the county comes to almost $1.2 billion, an increase of

10.6 percent from 2002, according to figures released Monday by County Assessor Bev Payne.

Assessed values – known formally as full-cash net assessed values - increased by about 1.3 percent in 1999, 2.4 percent in 2000, 5.5 percent in 2001 and 5.2 percent in 2002.

"We just get a lot more homes, and a lot more businesses and a lot more industries" coming to Mohave County, Payne said.

County Supervisor Pete Byers agrees with Payne's assessment.

"Property values are increasing because things are selling," he said.

"Look how our county boomed in population."

Payne said the value of new construction for 2003 has been projected to exceed $103.8 million.

That would compare with $32.6 million during 2002 and $35.5 million in 2001.

Payne explained that the county estimates the value of new construction so early during the year so that officials can come up a revenue projection for the next budget, which takes effect July 1.

She said the county's $1.2 billion assessed valuation accounts for only a portion of the full-cash value of $9.5 billion because her office deducts tax breaks and the ratios in which assessed values are determined.

The assessed value for commercial property is 25 percent of the full-cash value and the assessed value for residential property is 10 percent, Payne said.

The county has about 240,000 parcels.

Payne said that taxing agencies such as school districts use the full-cash assessed values to determine secondary property tax rates.

Secondary property taxes usually are voter-approved bond measures, she added.

She said the county's primary tax rate of $1.75 per $100 in assessed valuation is figured against limited net value, rather than full cash value.

Limited net value is determined using a formula set by state law, which was designed by prevent taxable valuation on land from increasing more than 10 percent a year.

"It's Arizona's answer to Prop 13," Payne said, referring to the property tax break measure approved by California voters in 1978.

She said Mohave County's total limited net value for 2003 is $31.3 million less than the full-cash assessed value.

Payne said that while assessed values have gone up countywide, they may be declining in some areas of the county.

"Who knows?" she said.

"It depends on where you are in the county.

They may go down.

They have been known to go down in Bullhead (City)."

Payne said she does not expect the upcoming closure of North Star Steel Arizona to have a major effect on total assessed valuation.

She said the manufacturer accounts for about $4.5 million of the full-cash assessed value of nearly $1.2 billion.

North Star Steel officials announced Friday that the plant, opened in 1996, will close because of economic factors, including electricity costs.